How To Shop for Renewable Electricity in Pennsylvania

By Ronald Fisher and Meryl Sands–7/13/2020

Shopping for renewable electricity can be overwhelming. If you’ve read our blog, you know that there are some bad actors in the electricity supply business. And you know from the mail you receive almost every week that there are a lot of offers.

The Energy Co-op is a different kind of renewable electricity supplier. As a member-owned non-profit, we offer 100% renewable electricity with 100% transparency. So, you know every cent is going towards our mission of helping our members buy, use, and understand sustainable energy. In keeping with that mission, we created this brief guide to make shopping for renewable electricity in Pennsylvania easy.

Here’s how—

  1. Choose a Pennsylvania supplier.

You’ve decided to power your Pennsylvania home with renewable electricity. So, why not support your local, clean energy economy by choosing a local supplier? When you do, your renewable electricity dollars have the most impact—not only reducing carbon emissions but also creating local, clean energy jobs and investment in our area.

  1. Choose a Pennsylvania supplier that offers 100% Pennsylvania renewable electricity.

And speaking of local, clean energy jobs and investment in our state, the best way to support that investment is by buying renewable electricity generated right here in Pennsylvania. Because of the way Pennsylvania’s renewable mandate works, it can be a little more expensive than renewable electricity produced elsewhere (generally less than 50 cents a day more for the average home). But by choosing Pennsylvania renewable energy, you encourage investment here and help change that.

  1. Choose a Pennsylvania electricity supplier that only offers renewable electricity.

What if you wanted to support organic agriculture by buying produce from a local organic farm only to find out that they’re owned by a factory farm that produces 90% of its food with unsustainable practices?

In Pennsylvania, the least expensive renewable electricity is offered by large, vertically integrated companies. That means over 90% of the electricity those companies generate and supply is not renewable. It’s produced with coal, natural gas, nuclear, and other non-renewable fuels. Why does that matter? It matters because you have no assurance that the dollars you spend on renewable energy won’t be invested in non-renewable fuel projects.

If you buy from someone who only offers renewable electricity, you know where your dollar is going.

  1. Choose a Pennsylvania electricity supplier that only offers wind and solar power.

When most people think of renewable electricity, they think of wind and solar power—the two fastest-growing electricity generation sources in the U.S. But in many states, including Pennsylvania, “renewable” or “alternative” electricity can be produced from a wide array of sources, including hydroelectric dams, wood pulping, and even coal mine methane. Now is not the time for 19th century technology. In the 21st century, make sure all your renewable electricity is wind and solar power.

  1. Choose a Pennsylvania supplier that offers a 12-month, fixed rate without any cancellation fee.

Some renewable electricity suppliers offer fixed rates for terms shorter than a full year—only 3 months—or much longer—as much as 36 months. Some make you pay a fee if you need to cancel before that term runs out. Why not choose a supplier that offers the guarantee of a fixed rate for a year, with no penalty if you have to cancel due to an unexpected event? You can’t plan for the unexpected. But you can buy renewable electricity from a supplier who protects you from it.

  1. Finally, buy renewable electricity from yourself!

The Energy Co-op is a nonprofit cooperative, owned by its members. We don’t have customers. That means there are no tricks or gimmicks. As a cooperative, The Energy Co-op’s business is totally transparent to its members. And becoming a member of The Energy Co-op also supports the growth of a network of local, community-focused cooperatives. Be a part of a movement that lifts up your community!

So, if you’re shopping for renewable electricity in southeastern Pennsylvania and you want to check all the boxes, there’s only one choice—The Energy Co-op. As a Philadelphia-based cooperative, we offer only 100% wind and solar powered, renewable electricity, many of whom choose our 100% Pennsylvania power option. We also offer fixed rates for 12 months with no signup, monthly, or cancellation fee. And, as an Energy Co-op member, you’re the boss!